So it’s been a while, compared to my earlier gusto this month. Today I’m sitting inside after calling into work because I went through a procedure that’s made me extremely sun-sensitive and embarrassingly and painfully inflamed. I don’t often talk about myself on my blog this personally, but as someone who struggles between trying to treat my health naturally and feeling pressured into the “quick fixes” of Western medicine, I am often left thinking about how my food choices affect my emotional and physical self, and whether I am making the right decisions sometimes about buying pills or supplements or paying a doctor to effectively put a band-aid on situations that I may have let get out of control for too long.
At times I feel I have an unhealthy relationship with this blog. Well, maybe not unhealthy, but I find myself making and photographing food by myself in order to avoid the awkwardness of being the home cook/hostess and food blogger at the same time (although I claim to know very little about photography, the better pictures I take involve a lot of time!). I put a personal pressure on myself sometimes to post the best, most unique, most decadent, newest etc etc creation or picture that I am capable of. This isn’t my job though – I work a full-time job, I volunteer once a week, and I’m just a little vegan lady with no professional experience photographically or culinarily. I’m not looking to be the vegan Martha Stewart. Most importantly, this goes against the main reason I started cooking in the first place: being with and cooking with or for the people I love. Maybe I’m feeling prematurely old, or veganism has changed the way I relate to my body, but I didn’t always pay attention to how healthy my cooking was(n’t), and lately my body feels like I’m slipping a lot in my eating habits. I don’t use nutrition analysis software or anything to determine this, but I know I haven’t been doing my best to make cooking (and sometimes baking) a healthy activity in my life as well as a people-oriented one.
My partner and I have our own sets of health or emotional issues that conflict with wanting to feel total freedom in what we eat. Sometimes it feels like we are constantly on opposite sides of a healthy-hedonistic spectrum – and neither of us is always the health-conscious and the other the hedonist. Our roles change a lot. Through our years of being together, though, we have influenced each other in positive ways: I’ve nearly erased any desire for boxed pre-seasoned couscous or chili mix and invited her into the amazing world of kale, and she has gotten me buying only whole grain breads and brown rice and reminding me to eat more fresh fruit. My endeavors have not always been met with acceptance, though: my becoming vegan freaked her out a bit (she’s still a vegetarian, but rarely eats non-vegan things at home) and she still seems afraid that I’m “going to go raw on her” (no plans for that!).
So what all this blabber is about, if you’re still reading right now, is that I’m making a concerted effort to make healthier food for us and have her (and other people) be more a part of the process. I know I’m not all cookies and white pasta and vegan mayo all the time anyway, but you’ll probably see less sweets from me here from now on, and hopefully more colorful and healthier recipes (as far as the colder winter months will allow). There are a couple of exceptions of course (holiday dinners and birthdays), but for the most part, I’m going to reduce my sugar, wheat/gluten, alcohol, caffeine, and soy, and get down with the fresh fruits and veggies, beans and legumes, and seasonal produce. All still with nice doses of spices and herbs, healthy fats, and tasty vitamins and minerals that I’ve been replacing with coffee and vegan muffins in lieu of breakfast and lunch.
Now, about the last part of my post. For those of you who have been following this blog for awhile, you know that I’ve procrastinated a ridiculously long time on a cookzine I’ve been working on. I wish I had more concrete answers than it’s still happening… Moving and some new direction halted things a bit. I felt I was pressuring myself to do too much for a first-time zine, so I’m in the process of streamlining, and working on a couple different simple recipes (testers, be on the lookout!) in addition to typing it all up and designing it and printing it. Completing semi-large projects has never been one of my strong suits, and the anticipation and fears about sharing it with other people is also a bit scary. But it will get done, even if it’s been far too long since I first mentioned it.
In conclusion, healthy food=good and zine=happening. And here is a lovely fall photo for those of you who don’t get to experience it (I grew up in San Diego, I know what I’m talking about):